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08/26/2003 Archived Entry: "Nickel and Dimed"
Posted by CKL @ 10:00 PM PST

Something new I just noticed on my long distance telephone bill:

AT&T Regulatory Assessment Fee
Beginning on July 1, 2003, your bill will include a 99 cent per month Regulatory Assessment Fee. This fee will help AT&T recover the costs associated with interstate access charges, property taxes, and the expenses associated with regulatory proceedings and compliance. This fee applies for each month in which you have any AT&T charges on your bill. This fee is not a tax or charge required by the government. (my emphasis)
Well, that's nice. Now how do I get the government to regulate the phone company a little bit more, so they can't charge this bogus fee or any others like it? And how is AT&T not asking to be slapped down with this boneheaded move?

Also, I'd like to be able to deal with just one freakin' "utility" company for all my telephone needs, instead of three-- SBC Local, AT&T Long Distance, and AT&T Wireless (of which the latter two are actually different companies, of course, who have nothing in common except they're both riding the coattails of the brand name). I deal with three different phone companies, and I don't much like any of them. They know most people can't function in modern society without some kind of telephone service, and they're too lazy or out of touch to innovate, so their primary means of profit is by creating confusing "offer bundles," adding hidden and not-so-hidden fees, and generally getting people to pay more for things they don't need.

This is why I hate salesmen, and why I love Glengarry Glen Ross. Isn't it ironic?

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